Has Israel seen the last of election ad hour?

The Central Elections Committee says the current system is "old-fashioned and archaic...lacking and out of date," in light of changes in the media in the past 57 years.

September 13, 2016 12:50
1 minute read.
yesh atid video

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid releases election video aimed at English-speaking voters. (photo credit: screenshot)

Campaign ads may move to the open market instead of being aired for free at a specific time shortly before an election if the recommendations of a public committee on the topic are adopted.

The public committee to update the 1959 campaign ad laws, led by former Supreme Court president Dorit Beinisch and appointed by President Reuven Rivlin and Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, who was the chairman of the Central Elections Committee for the last election, released an interim report on Monday.

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Thus far, the committee has concluded that the current system is “old-fashioned and archaic... lacking and out of date” in light of changes in the media in the past 57 years.

Currently, it is illegal for parties to buy television or radio ads 60 days before an election, and there are concentrated hours of ads on free airtime provided by broadcasters starting two weeks before each election.

The report recommends that election campaign advertisements on television and radio be available for purchase before an election.

In addition, instead of the block of campaign ads, in which each party receives a length of airtime based on the seats it has in the Knesset, every party will receive exactly four minutes to describe its goals. The series of four-minute stump speeches will be aired two weeks before the election and once again a week before.

The committee also recommended that laws pertaining to campaign advertisements also apply to the Internet.

Another recommendation involves increased transparency for polls published ahead of elections.

The committee plans to release a final report and recommendations after receiving responses from the public on the report.

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